Dia Mirza on Sanju: Sanjay Dutt and Maanayata’s relationship is free of judgement

Dia Mirza has stepped into the shoes of Sanjay Dutt’s wife Maanayata for Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju. In an interview, she got candid about playing the role.

Dia Mirza has stepped into the shoes of Sanjay Dutt’s wife Maanayata for Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju. She has shared screen space with Sanjay Dutt in Parineeta (2005), Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006), Dus Kahaniyaan (2007) and Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007). In an interview with DNA, she was asked if she got to know more about Sanjay Dutt’s life. 
On this, she told, “For many of us, especially, who are part of the industry, we had a sense of what was happening in his life. But when I heard the script, I was really surprised to find out how little I knew about him. Most of one’s perception about a person is from what one reads and hears, little of which is a first-person account. His life has always been publicly scrutinised and made us feel like we knew him. This script was Sanjay’s story straight from his heart, based on all his experiences that he shared with Raju (writer-filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani). I found it baffling and overwhelming that a human being has led such a varied life. I think he is destiny’s child.”
How did she prepare for her role in the movie? Explaining the whole procedure, she said, “You must know how intensely Raju and Abhijat (Joshi) write their scripts. They invest so much time in understanding every aspect of their subject and defining the characters that they leave little room to actually wonder. Having said that, at the human level you have questions about what one wants to achieve by portraying a character, especially a non-fictional one. For that, you have to understand the depth of the person and have absolute clarity on their relationship — in this case, the husband and wife. Only if I know the full context of the situation will I be able to do justice to the emotion. I wanted to understand how Maanayata as a wife, woman and mother handled the public scrutiny that she was subjected to. What was her driving force, what kept her afloat and not lose her bearings. She has been a rock to Sanjay.”
“I have known her socially for years. It was when Alibaug was under production that Sanju’s court case was gathering momentum. Maanayata came into his life around then. All of us had met her and known her. But before we started filming, we did workshops and look tests that would help me look the part. I also studied some of the news clips released around the time and saw her interviews and studied her body language, etc. But every time I’d get into the nitty-gritty, Raju would tell me not to worry and just be the part. The focus was on essentially understanding and being honest to the emotion more than anything else,” she added. 
There is scene in the trailer where it was revealed that Sanjay Dutt has had 350 relationships and Maanayata was sitting next to him. What was Dia’s reaction on that particular scene? On this, she said, “When Raju explained the scene to me, the first thing I asked him was if Maanayata knew about it. And he said, ‘Absolutely’. That’s the reason you don’t see my shocked expression. She knows it and chooses him; she doesn’t judge him. Whatever Ranbir is revealing to Anushka in the scene or elsewhere in the movie, Maanyata is aware of. That is the most amazing thing about this relationship. It is free of judgement.”
Talking about sharing screen space with Ranbir, she said, “We all know that he’s one of the finest actors of his generation. Of all the people I have worked with, what sets him apart from the others is his temperament. He is possibly one of the most patient, calm and centered human beings that I have acted with. Even if it was physically uncomfortable with prosthetic make-up, he would be the first one to arrive on the sets. He would come at 3 am to shoot at 7 am, sit for five hours to do prosthetic, which is a daunting task because you can’t move or even twitch. Then he would shoot in the heat and not lose his cool for even a second. That is a remarkable quality. Also, he’s extremely real, grounded and unaffected about his stardom. He has the most incredible manners and there is no hierarchy in his sphere. He is blessed with emotional intelligence, which is important for an actor to have. As a co-actor, he is so alive and responsive, it is beautiful.” 
What do you have to say about it?